Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. Elaine Pagels. Reviewed by Frank Thomas Smith. In The Gnostic Gospels, reviewed in Number 2 of Southern Cross Review. It’s clear from reading this early work by Elaine Pagels why she has become In Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Pagels traces the interpretation of Genesis In this provocative masterpiece of historical scholarship Elaine Pagels re-creates the controversies that racked Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Part 36, Page

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Pagels has always been both a great inspiration and a fun read for me. The Fall in Genesis 3 came to be perceived as dooming man to loss of free will.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels

The teachings of the Western church on original sin are entirely consistent with a strong sense of human freedom. Originally labeled heretical by the Pope, Augustine’s reading of Genesis was later lobbied not only into acceptance but dominance that is so long-standing, so pervasive that we automatically take it for granted.

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See all books by Elaine Pagels. There’s some pretty big hitters there. Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty. Oct 28, D. In particular she argues that Augustine’s reading of this text was such an idiosyncratic and radical break with Christian precedent that it amounted to a dismissal of more than three hundred years of unanimous tradition.

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity

Are we all tainted by original sin or are we free to choose salvation or damnation? The first four chapters present a view of pre-Augustinian Christian readings of Gen.


What happened had profound implications for Christianity and Western culture and in this book Elaine Pagels does a fantastic job of answering those questions. Random House, pp. thee

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity – Elaine Pagels – Google Books

Very few, in fact, agreed with Augustine. He is a senior editor of Touchstone. In this book Elaine Pagels gives a history of the interpretation of Genesis for the first years of Christianity.

The Paradise of Virginity Afam. This virtuoso study may disquiet some readers and refresh others; the debate it opens is not likely to leave and reader unmoved. Although there is still dispute about how many are forgeries, most scholars agree that Paul wrote only eight of the thirteen letters attributed to him in the New Testament.

About half the book deals with Augustine’s interpretations and the other half is the people he argued against. The book is chronologically linear, beginning with attitudes toward sexual morality during the time of Jesus of Nazareth and then the apostle Paul. Gnostic Improvisations on Genesis.

Then we see a treatment of persecution of Christians by the Roman empire, interpretations of Genesis by gnostic authors, and the elevation of the status of celibacy as the most conducive to holiness. Many Christians of the first four centuries took pride in their sexual restraint, eschewed polygamy and divorce, which Jewish tradition allowed — and they repudiated extramarital sexual practices commonly accepted by their pagan contemporaries, practices that included prostitution, abuse of slaves and homosexuality.

Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. The book appears to be largely made of revised articles Pagels had published elsewhere, but the flow is seamless enough and the concepts cohere so much as to allow that to go unnoticed unless one reads the footnotes. One of the interesting points in the book is how politics shapes theology and vice versa.

A glance at any catalogue of academic religious books reveals that feminism is the new orthodoxy, and that to be defensible any Christian doctrine or practice must be shown to be in accord with feminism.


The Politics of Paradise. I especially enjoyed a couple of pages in which Pagels discussed why people have This is really a book about how the concept of original sin evolved and became Catholic doctrine.

Returns, refunds, and privacy policy. Biology is no longer destiny. Nov 03, lp rated it liked it. Most theologians of the early church believed that human beings were created as good, and in the image of God. It is interesting to see the work and the mendacity that went into the establishment of many of these doctrinal questions associated with human freedom and sexuality.

The emphasis was not on any kind of ‘original sin’ until Augustine. Especially, in virginity women found freedom from the demands of family life. May 13, Dan rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Podles and his wife have six children and live in Naples, Florida. The set of beliefs and understanding of man and the world Weltanschaung is the wonderful German word for it that largely informs the Christian church to this day was defined and crystallized in those first four or five centuries.

Virginity came to be emphasized, perhaps as a way to differentiate true believers from the sinful world. Trivia About Adam, Eve, and th The story of Adam and Eve is, like, maybe the best, most important story of all time.

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